Crafty stuff, Travel

An Anne of Green Gables in New Plymouth photoshoot

Last  Monday was Labour Day in New Zealand, so it was a long weekend.  A couple of friends and I took advantage of the day off to have a girls weekend in Taranaki, staying in the cottages on Rachel’s farm.

How do you know when you have awesome  friends?  When, as soon as you have agreed on a weekend away one of them says “we get to get dressed up and wear corsets and take pictures, right?”


We decided on a 1900s Anne of Green Gables theme, as a good look to go rambling around a park for a couple of hours in.  Also, it fit in well with the outfits I just finished for the Katherine Mansfield photoshoot, and my make for the Silver Screen challenge (gee, I wonder what my inspiration is…)

Still, Miss Stella & I  were up till 11 the night before we headed off, taking up tucks in a skirt for the petite Miss Priscilla, sewing her blouse in under three hours, re-shaping hats, and doing hems and buttonholes on my skirt.

And then on Sunday we did a bit of sitting around the cabin, sewing on buttons, trimming hats, and eating very restrained amounts of chocolate (our girls weekend was astonishingly  lacking in gluttony and terrible food choices), before donning our finery, stopping by the Inglewood train station for “Oh my, do I see Gilbert on the next train!” pictures, and rambling around the utterly  gorgeous Pukekura Park for a couple of hours having an absolutely marvellous time.

Anne of Green Gables in Taranaki

Isn’t the train station absolutely perfect?  There are  a few of these old stations around NZ, and it’s always a delight to see them preserved and cared for, instead of destroyed (gives Ashburton a stern look).  They are such an important part of NZ’s history.

Anne of Green Gables in Taranaki

Pukekura Park (which blends into Brooklands Park, and I think a lot of our photos were technically in Brooklands, which is slightly confusing) is probably one of the most beautiful city parks in NZ – and NZ is good at parks and pretty much anything nature related.

It’s almost problematic trying to take photos in such a beautiful park, because every meter had a divine new vista that was just perfect as a backdrop.  So we moved at the rate of about .7 a kilometer an hour.

And it was spring, and the trees had just leafed and everything was in bloom and there were kereru and tui and fantails and basically I was in heaven.

Anne of Green Gables in Taranaki

Anne of Green Gables in Taranaki

Anne of Green Gables in Taranaki

Anne of Green Gables in Taranaki

Anne of Green Gables in Taranaki

Anne of Green Gables in Taranaki

Anne of Green Gables in Taranaki

Anne of Green Gables in Taranaki

And one final one of us together to finish:

Anne of Green Gables in Taranaki

Oh my gosh I have the best friends!


  1. Oh, I love those skirts! I suspect I would love the corseting necessary to get me into one a little less…
    It is indeed a beautiful location! We have tui and occasional kereru around our place, and I love them to bits. Figuratively, of course. Although I did find a couple of kereru feathers recently after they had a little spat. (Cherchez la femme?)

    • You might be pleasantly surprised by corseting! In the last fortnight I’ve put corsets on two different people who had never worn one before, and they both ended up commenting on how comfortable they found them (actually comfortable, not just not uncomfortable). In most historical periods corsets were just supposed to support, not really do a huge amount of waist reduction.

      We’ve had lots of tui in our flax bushes recently – such a joy!

      • It’s the Edwardian corset I have my doubts about, although I suppose A of GG isn’t too S-bendy… I mostly don’t wear corsets because I don’t have the sewing skills or patience to make one that fits properly!

  2. I think it’s wonderful how you make this visit so special. I have cousins in Prince Edward Island and have often wanted to go up and see the AOGG location. I will be sure to dress appropriately when I do.

  3. DramaticLyric says

    O wow. You guys are awesome! I’m seriously jealous.

  4. Alix McKenzie says

    You look like kindred spirits to me! What a lovely shoot – you could have stepped straight out of the book.

  5. Deanna says

    So much fun! You all look wonderful. If I ever had the opportunity to dress up as Anne & friends, I think I’d be tempted to do the full leg o’ mutton. 🙂

  6. Deanna says

    P.S. If you ever do an indoor shoot, you need a couple of china dogs and a multitude of inconvenient cushions. 😉

  7. That’s sooo gorgeous, it really was the perfect place to take photos!
    I love old railways stations. It must be the combination of liking old things and being the daughter of a railway enthusiast. All those cast iron pillars and stuff, I love it.

  8. Janet van Dompseler says

    Just so you know….there’s a new
    Anne of Green Gables series being filmed in our part of the world (Canada), due to start airing any day now. A former young colleague of mine is on costumes!

    • I am aware! I shall be very interested to see the costumes – Anne is particularly interesting because you’ve got multiple dates for costume choices – the early books were originally written to be set in the 1890s, and Montgomery kept pushing them back to fit more in, until Anne ends up being born in 1865, which puts the early costuming in the 1870s and 80s No one thinks of Marilla in natural form!

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